SMU opened the 2021 season with a 56-9 rout of Abilene Christian in convincing fashion. The biggest talking point of the night was certainly QB Tanner Mordecai’s 7 touchdowns in his first ever start in college. We knew Mordecai was talented but it’s certainly a surprise to see a SMU school record 7 touchdowns in his first game in Dallas. Mordecai finished going 24/30, 317 yards and 7 TD’s. As expected, SMU had a couple drives in the first half that stalled, though ultimately they obviously had no trouble scoring at all.
SMU TE Grant Calcaterra (another Oklahoma transfer) was the other breakout star tonight for the Mustangs catching 2 touchdowns on only 3 receptions. It took the two Oklahoma transfers just over 3 and a half game minutes to connect for a touchdown on SMU’s first drive. He already seems like an awesome replacement for TE Kylen Granson, now playing on Sundays with the Indianapolis Colts. At 6’5”, Calcaterra is a big athletic pass catcher that hopefully will be a matchup problem for other defenses this season.
What’s encouraging for SMU is how deep they are at all skill positions. 12 different players caught passes tonight for SMU and 4 different players caught touchdowns. 4 players had 50 or more yards receiving and 3 players caught 2 touchdowns.
SMU only tallied 168 yards as a team on the ground averaging 4.5 yards a carry. Ulysses Bentley and Senior Tre Siggers split carries but were not particularly really explosive tonight. Reggie Roberson Jr. played well for having his reps limited totaling 3 receptions for 59 yards.
The leadership of Trevor Denbow and Delano Robinson showed on the defensive side of the ball for SMU. SMU only allowed 5 3rd down conversions all game which shows to me the discipline on the defensive side of the ball. We’ll see if the Mustangs can make that a trend in the following weeks.
The Wildcats ended up turning the ball over 4 times most of which were a testament to an SMU defense that played well. ACU showed signs of a good team especially during the 3rd quarter when they capped off a gritty, 16 play 75 yard drive with a touchdown. For ACU however, mistakes including 3 INTs from QB Stone Earle and a horrible muffed punt inside their own 5 yard line along with the SMU firepower led to a tough day for the Wildcats.
SMU plays North Texas next Saturday in Dallas and ACU returns home to host Louisiana College.